Saturday, March 18, 2017

Ballet BC Program 2 Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Both Laura and I are getting over spring colds.  Vancouver is experiencing  dreariness with ugly rain holding back the coming of the sun.  If it weren’t for season’s tickets to the ballet neither of us would have got off the couch and escaped from the tv to culture.  It never seems like a good idea getting dressed but history has proven over and over again that an evening of Ballet BC is an uplifting intriguing consciousness raising event. It even puts a smile on my face. Curmudgeon that age is making me.

And true to form this ballet did.  The  Queen Elizabeth Theatre is  a bright oasis.  Tonight  the young women were truly gala in the latest fashions.  Marvellous dresses and splendid shoes. I like best the gaggles of the  early teens with their aunt or dance instructor mentor  all fluttering and vibrant. But tonight it was the 20 year olds looking truly mysterious and captivating.  The young men in jackets and fancy shirts and well scrubbed faces were there as well.  

There is always the older crowd. Fewer tonight  compared to the surge of youthful enthusiasm with it’s obvious appreciation of excellence. Us older folk are main stay.  The City set.  Very uptown.  Banyan Books meets Nordstrom crowd.  Uniquely Vancouver.  But this night seemed mostly for the young and beautiful people. My favourite place in the whole world for people watching is the Ballet.

 Queen Elizabeth really is a fine little theatre.  Not the Lincoln Centre by any means.  Neither is it shabby.   I like the seats and the view.  I like too when Emily Molnar comes on stage and briefly describes the coming show. I was miffed though she didn’t mention St. Patrick.  There was however a swath of green dresses and jackets in the audience.  I was wearing my patch vest from Dublin.  Laura looked divine in her Ivanka. 

When the lights went down, the Anthem choreographed by Lisa Gelly and Josh Martin exploded on the stage, a minimalist background, with functional costumes,  a plethora of new moves and impossible bodies reached out to meet the industrial music of Colin Stetson, Sarah Neufeld, Ginzburg and Purgus. It was something never considered possible and yet it worked all together as one, a most incredible explanation of space and sound emotionally explored by human.  I truly loved the piece.  A World Premiere and somehow especially 2017.

I love watching individual dancers. I’ve known Alexis Fletcher, Peter Smida, Rachel Prince, Rachel Meyers and Gilbert Small now for several seasons so truly appreciate their interpretations and sophistication.  Each night a dancer might capture my attention as tonight Nicole Ward and Brandon Alley stood out for me.  It’s the troop though that astonishes,, like a flock of birds moving together in ultimate unison.  

I loved Swan, choreography by Wen Wei Wang,  music from Swan Lake, Alexis Fletcher and Kirsten Wicklund sublime and Christoph von Reideman, Andrew Bartee, Gilbert Small and Peter Smida so strong and robust.  Combinations and permutations so very modern and refined. Such a tableau of exquisite form.  Robson Street and Davie.  Kate Burrows costume design rippled.

The audience loved the Lesly Telford composition, “If I were 2” , an exploration of narcissism, especially the young people. A dance duet by Emily Chessa and Brandon Alley set to the words of Barbara Adler sounding like a poem played by nightclub turntable.  It wasn’t my cup of tea, like  the other time they brought a painter on stage.  I just wish for Nutcracker at such times despite my overall joy of the contemporary.  

But then as always Ballet BC redeemed itself  with the especially intimate Solo Echo choreographed by Crystal Pite to the beautiful music of Brahms.   It actually had me crying and laughing at the same time as the dancers together reminded me of the otters holding onto each through the night at Vancouver Aquarium or at other times they became like a mob of inquisitive meerkats.  I’ve never seen the like of it in all my years of ballet attendance such an original work of humans holding to each other, letting go and finding one another, then holding together as a group or family or community. Such delicacy and love.  The tablleaus of human forms were mesmerizing.  

The audience really loved it and we all leapt to our feet to give the performers a well deserved standing ovation. Then we funnelled back out to cars and taxis and the less dreary still raining city of Vancouver.  I even had a little bounce in my step.  

IMG 4455

 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Vancouver Grows Greater Every Day

 

Vancouver  grows.  I look up and see all the cranes and that’s the sign of a successful city. There’s space for business here. There’s a wild west feel. What I don’t like is petty. It’s hard to provide excellence in health care at the bargain basement rates while paying top drawer costs for all services in the city.  But that doesn’t detract from the growth of the city.  Cranes everywhere.  Vancouver despite the mayor cutting down trees for bike lanes and all manner of other oddities is really expanding. There’s fuel lines flowing through the city bringing riches to all. There’s work for construction industry and tech is expanding. Vancouver is really attracting brilliant people. Our cancer research facilities are the best. I’m bitching and whining and complaining but UBC is magnificent in it’s achievements.  I’m loving the rapid transport advances made in the city. Of course it’s always been one of the most beautiful places in the world.  It’s a rich person dream destination. The police protect the rich here, not the moderate rich, but the very rich. it’s a place where the million dollar homes are worth a million dollars and the million dollar cars are worth a million dollars. It’s a rich city. It’s a place with the finest restaurants and all manner of toys and places to play really close by. There’s drugs and alcohol and nightclubs and shootings in the street.  There’s gangs, public and private. There’s a fast crowd. There’s an uptown wheeling dealing with outlandish markets and stock exchanges and back alley drug deals.  It’s got the street whores galore and the uptown underage girl and boy prosttitues going for thousands a night.  It’s Sin City.  New York and LA are clean towns compared to Vancouver. Hong Kong has nothing on this city. Surrey is infamous.  It’s that kind of rapid growth places. It brings a fast crowd. 

But then there’s the cranes.  You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.  Wood and mines and fisheries are still fantastic sources of abundance. We’re blessed with the riches here from land and sea. There’s cattle ranching in the interior but there’s also a hub where ships meet the land where railways and trucks unload. It’s everything. This increadible place.  

I’ve lived in the west end where parties went all night every night. I’m in Burnaby now. A suburb like Richmond, Kits, Westvan, and North Vanc. One of the inner suburbs as Cloverdale and Sqaumish become the new commuter suburbs of the ever expanding city.  It’s built on a peninsula and we live in fear of earthquakes and tsunamis.  But there’s no success without risk.  If you want to feel peace you vacation in Merrit or Oosooyos or Kelowna.  There’s tranquility there. But here is buzz. It’s big city in a beautiful location. it’s San Francisco with a whole lot more.  It’s 10 years ago and 20 years a head. it’s Vancouver.  City of cities.  Everyone from all over the world is coming here.  Our friends are every colour and every religion and they or their parents came from different conteninest or the furthest reaches of this once great nation Canada.  Now Vancouver is great and Canada is floundering like a fat gutted beast waiting to surface again when it’s re invented itself to somehow be with the times. Vancouver has the energy. Vancouver has the people. Vancouver has it all.  The corruption is it’s fertilizer.  

We manage here.  The rain washes away the tears.  The summers are fast. The beaches are packed and in winter we strap boards on our feet and laugh skiing and snowboarding down the pristine slopes of Grouse and Whistler. There’s hiking and sailing and swimming pools outdoors and in. A whole lot of people actually bicycle no matter how much we like to make fun of our mayor whose vision is to have the city a kind of Amsterdam on the west coast. There’s ideas galore here. Ted talks comes here. It’s Hollywood of the North.  There’s opportunities. The Chinese say, ‘may you live in interesting times’ Interesting times are times of great opportunity and great disaster. It’s that way here. Business go boom or bust. The downtown east side with itis’ drugs and disease are the dregs of thousands of once bright dreams.  The city is a hard city for those who are trusting and don’t recognize the thieves and killers in their midst. It’s not just the fentanyl but the drug dealers who know the poison gives a profit.  There’s risk here.  It’s with risk there’s potential for high finance.  People are coming from all over the globe for that risk and venture.  

Vancouver is a new city state.  Our airport is a wonder of modern fast technology and ancient West Coast aboriginal art.  The planes bring the businessmen to the conferences along with the writers and scientists. It’s a hub city. It’s a great city. It’s amazing. Really truly amazing.  The Aquarium is a wonder in the city’s huge park with the magnificent seawall and grand protected English Bay harbour.  It’s hard to believe that one day men in canoes looked on this pristine wonder and knowing that know that someday soon space ships will land where today planes do.  Intergallactic travel is years or decades hence and men and wearing redwood bark clothing could not know that in a mere century the sky rises would be coming to their land.  

It’s out of Vancouver flights go north and south to Alaska and the Yukon. The fishing boats to the northern pacific harbour here. The roads to Fort St.John and Fort McMurray depart from here. Vancouver is still the gold rush city of before but now the wealth is in everything, in people, and products and communication and transport and energy and commodities and people power and raw material. It’s a centre of centres. And everywhere there are cranes and this present government has helped business grow and prosperity arise.  

The life expectancy here gets longer and longer.  

The intensity gets more and more.

It’s a place where fireworks happen annually alongside the Shakespearean Bard on the Beach and Vancouver Folk Festival.  The BC Ballet Performs and the Vancouver Opera is world renown. And we all love our Canucks Hockey Team dearly. But there’s all the unsung sports and the Fringe Theatre and the cubby holes like Banyan Books that make Vancouver so unique and appealing. It’s got such character and charm with Granville Island and Londsale Key and Orcas sometimes sited in the harbour. There’s always Eagles and Seagulls.  Coyotes walk through the city.  Sometimes a bear or a moose even gets lost in the suburbs. it’s high tech and rural wilderness juxtapose in clashes and comfort. Harrison Lake so near and yet so far with hot springs and nearer still Chilliwack Tulip Festival taking off on the over the border Mount Verno Tulip festivals. We ride our Harley Motorcycles and sports cars down the seaside roads to Seattle and Portland and get a rush in another land and another country. Our near by Gulf Islands with all their charm are just across from the San Juan Islands with all that Yankee and southern spirit. We’re surrounded everywhere with specialness and precious adventures. 

Vancouver is fabulous.  Poetry readings and Soccer games and even cricket and lacrosse. And in the pubs they shoot billiards and darts and dance the night away.  Gay Davie street and earthy Commercial and uptown Robson and the Art Gallery and funky Granville and movie theatre complex and karaoke and everything the heart desires.  And less and less Ottawa and more and more Hong Kong and Washington. It’s a world city . It’s a great city.  It’s LA in the north. It’s Tokyo east. It’s Manilla in Canada. It’s Mumbai and St. Petersburg. it’s still italian and Greek and all the British are here as well. But it’s so much more.

Even now there are daffodils and crocuses hearkening a new spring.  Vancouver is always known for it’s early spring.  The winters are dark and wet and dreary and even cold sometimes but the spring comes soon and the cyclists and motorcycles come out and then the walkers and the hikers and the city that cocooned for a few short months becomes the outside city it really is.  The streets fill and the outdoor restaurant and cafe’s blossomed with conversation and laughter.  

Vancouver is a great city.  A really really great city becoming greater every day.

IMG 4452Bill and Gilbert

Friday, March 10, 2017

Selection Bias and Alternative Facts

Alternative facts is better termed ‘alternative reality’.  CBC News is a prime example though CNN is equally entertaining for these marketing strategies that are unscientific and commonly called ‘pseudoscience’.  An example is a left leaning poll, knowing that marijuana smokers sleep in , work from home, or don’t have jobs, pollsters will poll during the afternoon.  The right wing anti marijuana smokers by contrast are commonly early risers and at work.  Such a poll is then used by the CBC or CNN to support in a pseudoscience way their contention that the majority of Canadians want more access for themselves and their children and their pets to marijuana.  

Selection bias worked in the university regarding Climate Change. The UN IPCC mandate was to publish evidence of ‘man made weather changes’.  Strong the Canadian communist supported by his Chinese and globalist partners was against fossil fuels.  China has maintained fossil fuels but by demonizing them in the west Strong and the communists saw the undermining of the western military economy by hampering the west’s efforts to compete with the military build up of China and countries in the Middle East, specifically those agains the principle western ally, Israel.  In all these other countries they are using cheap energy to in military competition with the west who increasingly have found their ability to defend the west undermined at home. It’s long known that the American military won the War in Vietnam only to have it lost by the Media at home.  

Selective bias is to report Canadian carbon ‘footprint’ one of the best in the industrialized world and tax the already over taxed Canadians all the while countries like China continue to pollute massively.

The most recent evidence of selective bias and the alternative facts that follows from this alternative reality which excludes comparison is with the pipe line spills.  Pipelines are cheaper and safer than railways but corporate tycoons like Warren Buffet and the Trudeau government are heavily invested in the more costly and more dangerous railway transport of fuels.  By paying ‘activists’ and raising rallies these alternative corporate interests run a marketing campaign demonizing the competing industry. Oil will be carried but not by pipelines but rather by trains.  

The issue of ‘gun laws’ was the same with the exclusion of heavily armed Switzerland with it’s very ordered and safe society but instead looking at America and claiming that ‘guns’ are the cause of murder in the US.  What was further excluded from the debate was that 75% of Californian gang violence was by “illegal aliens’ but most importantly ‘legal guns’ in the US are simply absent in violence other than domestic violence where there are measures that have been taken in countries like Canada to reduce the likelihood of domestic violence without demonizing guns.  

The point is that the key to understanding the ‘alternative facts’ and the ‘alternative realities’ of the major competing ideologies of individualism of the right and collectivism of the left is to look first at the ‘terms of the reference’ of the research involved or the ‘study’ involved.  Then it’s critical to have an appropriate comparison group.

The place where I saw this was with ‘home deliveries’.  The Liberal government having taken all the tax payer citizen money for health care was attempting to keep it all for their own luxuries by schemes like as ‘deliver your baby in your home’.  They had this plan to cut costs and reduce the amount of money returned to the citizens for the medical care which citizens were willing to pay for.  So they also encouraged ‘mid wives’ to do ‘home deliveries’ and developed ‘dual’s.  These individuals were in direct competition with obstetricians whose work was the most scrutinized and regulated and subject to the highest costs in medical legal terms because of the demand for perfection.  Overnight the home deliveries were associated with deaths and difficulties but never subjected to the same scrutiny simply because it was ‘government approved’ and part of the main agenda.  The most important comparison was to use Britain and Holland as ‘comparison’ showing that Britain and Holland had home deliveries without problems. What was left out was that when I lived in London there was a clinic and hospital and life support facilities as close as pubs on every corner. The ‘density’ of the population allowed proximity to obstetricians and c sections.  By contrast in Canada the vast distances resulted in long delays from getting from the home to the hospital if anything went wrong.  

The key is to understanding the ‘terms of reference’. In the Downtown Eastside the agenda was to introduce costly ‘injection sites’ and promote the ‘culture of drugs’ but ‘control’ it and bring it into the same ‘marketing potential’ as the highly lucrative tobacco and alcohol industries with their lobbies and revenues.  There was no evidence that these incredibly expensive facilities did more than reduced a death per year at a cost of a million dollars. However by presenting a graph showing the drop of the deaths in the community which included the years before they were opened they ‘claimed’ success but now though there is a horrendous rise in deaths "as a consequence" of the injection sites, the very name SAFER marketing drugs increasingly to youth who no longer associate drugs with death, as they had after the Belushi death, instead we have a cry in the construction industry to build more empires.  This is an alternative reality to the proven success of street policing, abstinence baed treatment centres, methadone, suboxone, AA and NA.  The construction industry and other players are very keen on more bastilles which serve as a focus for spreading the ideology of ‘better living through chemistry’.  

The abortion industry is one of the most expensive and most highly paid and costly industries.  A simple comparison would be to consider as it was 30 years ago, what is the cost of abortion compared to supporting mothers and children.  The multi billion dollar abortion industry doesn’t wish to share it’s masses of money with mere women and children yet we could support well all the unborn babies if we had indeed presented the evidence without the ‘selection bias’ which came from the idea there are ‘too many people are the planet’.  What was never mentioned is that idea, that doomsaying, was first introduced in the time of Columbus.  Like Global Warming and countless other fear mongering ideologies, these serve to get people to give money to the organizations creating the problem.  

To understand all the squishy feel good promotions like save the wounded puppy campaigns understand that there is an industry behind everyone of these.  Pipelines debate isn’t about fossil fuel or not but about fossil fuel carried by trains or pipelines.  Look for the money that is competing and ask about the egos involved in the competition.  

George Soros who profits by bringing down governments investing billions in their downfall, buying up their currency before they rise again , all done artificially and by intention, is behind the black lives matter campaign which is a money making machine for black leaders and democrats principally.  In South Africa the blacks are persecuting the whites but there is no ‘white lives matter’ campaign there because in other countries there are no freedoms as we enjoy here.  Much of the terminology is based on this ‘selection bias’.  Asians with their history of success comparative to Caucasians are not demonized as whites are by the blacks because theres an agenda and ‘selective bias’.  Follow the money trails and ask who is profiting from this warm and fuzzy today.  

I am a researcher and I see such stupidity and wonder why people don’t go to university and study stats and research to know the fundamentals so they won’t be lead by the nose and turned into consumer slaves by the forces behind CBC and CNN.  I did my research training at the Masters level and this was simply 101. It's not new information but seeing Canadians vote and listening to Canadians discuss politics I'm quite frightened by the level of general ignorance about science and research. There's a tremendous pseudoscience and the new bullying of the brownshirt "identity politics' but a general ignorance about polls, democracy, socialism, communism, history, studies, bias that really is seriously troubling.  

Think alternative ‘realities’ and ‘selection bias’ and ‘terms of reference’. And polls are as limitted to who pays for them. Snopes for one is bought and sold.  

 

The best way to sucker someone too, is to bait them with a couple of truths so you can sucker them with the bigger false hood when their guards are down. That’s why these organizations are partially useful on the stuff that doesn’t really ‘count’.  Everything is grey.  Nothing is all bad or all good. It’s just where are you on the spectrum of naivity to intelligent discernment 

 

Also know that the search engines of the Internet are rigged. The queue of items is bought. The marijuana industry is so well funded and powerful that a recent research item about the harm of marijuana was 'buried' in the general search engines in the most sophisticated manner whereas it was front and centre in the scientific search engines. I liked the coffee mug, 'don't confuse your google search with my MD". It's increasingly tedious to explain to people the basics of marketing or sales and burst their bubble of overnight genius. Right now the 'left' is claiming to be the judge of 'truth'. Their new word is 'facts'. Beware. The best New Yorker cartoon showed a weather woman saying, "now we've given you the Republican weather report now we're give you the Democrat weather report." You can get a Jamaican, Saudi, female, gay or dog lover report now on just about any matter and mostly you'll be hearing the expensive monetarily back skewed view. One way to untangle deviation is to know a controversial story from the inside then watch how different media present the story. That gives a baseline deviation There will always be selection bias and alternative relations and social relativism will play a part but if you are aware of these forces you can factor them into your analysis. I know it's tough. I know you want the nipple of reason and the umbilical cord of facts to hang onto. Don't we all.

 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Gratitude today

Thank you Lord that the world has not boiled up as the climate change doom sayer cult promised. Thank you Lord that the world is not at War as the anti  Donald Tump lobby promised. Thank you that the earth has not left it’s orbit. Thank you for the sun today. Thank you for the world not being destroyed by floods because of the homosexuals on Davie street as the craziest of Christian’s promised. Thank you that we are all alive to day taking care of business as usual. Thank you for another mediocre Canadian Wednesday, the middle of another endless Canadian week. Thank you Lord it is not snowing in Vancouver today. That’s been a little unsettling. The Eastern Canadians are the bad ones and they are struck by months of frozen tundra for their evil ways but we in LA LA Land are good and holy and don’t deserve to be kept from Wreck Beach too much longer. Do you think this may be because there is too much dope smoking on the east that the world is tilted.  Aren’t the nuts supposed to roll to California. Thank you Lord for my dog Gilbert and may he have more shit and piss to smell today as that seems to be uplifting for him.  I’ll pass myself Lord. I’ll thank you instead for the smell of clean bodies, colognes and perfumes and the especially pleasant smell of Olay and Irish Spring.  Thank you Lord that I can still hear and that my smell remains .And thank you for my sight and help my little dog keep his. And thank you Lord for the sense of feeling.  And thank you Lord for the heart and brains and especially for the legs and arms and all the body parts.  Thank you for this day Lord. And thank you that Justin Trudeau has not bankrupted the country as I feared.  We are still solvent, rapidly approaching Third World countries in increasing poverty in the elderly but really Lord I’ve been personally catastrophizing.  My apologies to Justin Trudeau he hasn’t given away all our hard earned money as yet so forgive me for my needless worry. Even he can’t destroy a country so great as Canada in this little time as I feared. So thank you that the optimistic and hopeful are still winning today.  Thank you for the coming of spring. Thank you for life after death and thank you for waking me this morning. It was so cute to have Gilbert sitting beside me waiting for my eyes to open.  That was a thoughtful touch Lord and a great way to start the day. Thank you Lord for all your blessings. Thank you for this day.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Bellwether Hotel, Bellingham and My Birthday

My birthday this year is really special to me. It’s a culmination of a life time of work. I’ve always looked forward to this time with anticipation.  I never really thought to retire but I thought that this year would mean I’d really done my duty.  I felt when I became a physician I had a responsibility to use my training. I’d taken a limited space and felt that I had made a covenant with my community to serve.  Now I feel like I still want to serve, at least another five years or so but it’s a different sort of relationship.  I’ve done my time.  

I’ve always been self employed. I regret now in some ways that I didn’t work for the money or focus more on my self.  I could now be having more options but I’d not feel the way I have, that feeling of being  of service. I wanted to be a missionary doctor but I also wanted to pay my way.  I took Dr. Jack Hildes suggestion to work in the areas of ‘greatest need’. 

I’d bought myself a 2017 Ford F350 Lariat edition 4x4 crew cab and long box white truck, trading in my 2007 Ford F350 Harley Davidson edition. It was a gift to myself and served to anchor me. I wanted to just keep on working and this would keep me working to pay off the debt.  An anchor of sorts.  So often dealing with the bureaucracy I really want to run away to sea again.  In a few years but not right now. Gilbert loves the truck and a trip down to Bellingham would give Laura a chance not only to see it but to also appreciate it’s spectacularly smooth rise.  The sound system with Hillsong and Amy Grant is spectacular.  

Bellwether Hotel was another gift to myself.  Laura and I had not seen each other for a couple of weekends. She’s been working weekends as I have been.  We both live in tiny places and a weekend at a hotel gives us the reprieve from our own claustrophobic quarters.  

A Bellwether Hotel weekend was an oasis to work towards.  I’ve been literally exhausted each night falling asleep sometimes at 7 and other times waking with nightmares in the wee hours of the night.  I’ve needed the breaks to just survive the stress of work right now..

Laura and I enjoyed the drive down to the States with the magnificent little one eyed pirate of a dog.. Gilbert.   He seems to be adjusting better to his loss of sight and need to sit still three times a day while I give him drops for his glaucoma’

We had no difficulties crossing the border.  The American’s were inviting. Probably after all the nonsense of Canadian leftist liberals being stopped after arrogantly telling the American border crossing guards that they  want to go to the US to protest their president and start riots they were glad to have us.

"Where are you going?"

"The Bellwether Hotel in Bellingham."

“What is the purpose of your visit"

“We’re going down for the weekend to celebrate my birthday”.

“Well, have a great birthday."

“Thank you sir.” 

The Navigation System on the truck was awesome. it was dark and raining and we really would have missed a turn were it not for the clear directions. The navigation actually shows up not just on the central screen but also on the dash view directly in front of me where speed and gas usage are recorded. This is so incredibly safe.  I didn’t have to look away from the road once.

The staff at Bellwether were delighted to see us.  Lovely ladies. I left Laura and Gilbert and the luggage in the lobby  to drive off and park the monster truck. They have free underground parking but my truck is too big for that. .  There was parking nearby though and no problems all weekend.

The rooms were fabulous. So elegant. Spring and autumn colours.  Subdured. Luxurious. A balcony looking over the marina.  A fireplace.  Huge tv and huge king sized bed.  The whirlpub tub put Laurain heaven. I like a shower myself.  But we’d use every bit of the room by the time the weekend was done. I had reports to write and papers to read, a half dozen hours of work which I did either at the desk on my lap top or sitting on the balcony or in the soft lounging chair where I read.  They had a mat set out for Gilbert and food and water bowls.  He loved his stay.

We had room service dinner from their extraordinary kitchen. I can’t recall how long it’s been since I had such an awesome filet mignon. it literally melted in my mouth.  We loved everything about the meal.   It was a Mel Gibson weekend.  We love Mel Gibson.  These were the ones where he plays a cop with Glover.  The next day we had a delicious turkey bacon sandwiches with perfect fries for lunch.

Each day I walked Gilbert around the sea wall. It’s a great walk. Gilbert loved the lawns and bushes. Heather was already blooming.  A friend told us they loved Anthony’s restaurant nearby. I saw it but we were happy eating in the hotel room with Gilbert.  I really  enjoy the decadence of room service.  Giuseppe’s was another restaurant I saw.. There were several others all within walking distance. The area is  it’s a popular uptown sea side place. a bit like Granville Island,  right inside Bellingham on Bellington Bay..  

Laura had a cold too, cough and sniffles, so she really enjoyed the down time.

We did get out for a drive in my new Ford F350 Lariat Edition Truck. The sun had come out on the Saturday.  Lovely cloud formations but lots of blue sky.  We drove the Chuckunut Road , winding along the coast.  In the truck I thought how our drives in the Miata and on the Harley had been more suited to the narrow lane. With the sun roof drawn back, Gordon Lightfoot playing on the sound system,   it still was a delightful drive with the most beautiful views of forest and sea.   Laura got to enjoy them more because I really did have to pay attention to the road.  The daffodils in the fields beyond hadn’t blossomed but in weeks they and the tulips will be shouting spring.  I took the highway back as sleet began.  We were listening to the latest Paul Simon on the highway.  New York sounds that reminded us of our recent trip there. .  Back in the room se actually ordered a pizza which was perfect too.   A  pizza was what I really wanted and it was my birthday. .

I really felt that this weekend was just what the doctor ordered.  A special day and a reprieve from the excessive stress of office moves,January and February psychiatry. and the  fentanyl overdose deaths. It’s all  taking it’s  toll.  I feel like I’m working on the ‘front’.  The sad part is the enemy is oneself, and the drug dealer. 

Sunday morning I was up early and walked Gilbert. They had delicious coffee each morning in the lobby and in the afternoon ice cold lemon water.  There were all these thoughtful details at the Bellwether and the staff were always so caring.   

Laura is a beautiful companion too.. Even with her cold I enjoyed her presence.  Gilbert and I think the world of her.  We chat about the most inconsequential matters.  It’s just comfortable to be together. She spoils Gilbert with doggie massages and treats. 

All too soon we were packing up and on our way.  A snowstorm had hit the north while we were enjoying balmy weather by the sea.  Stopping at Gilbert’s favourite restaurant we got cheese burgers to eat on the ride north.

 I actually thought of not writing about Bellwether because it really is the sort of perfect little place you want to keep a secret.  It really is  like a great little fishing hole. Such a place for catch after catch after catch!

The staff at Bellwether made my birthday weekend unforgettable.  Laura and I had a wonderful time. Gilbert was so happy but he’s always so happy and especially happy when Laura and I are together.

At the border the agent was vigilant.  Justin Trudeau is encouraging terrorists to see Canada as their new safe house so I rather liked that the custom’s agent at least  was alert.

I dropped Laura off at her place, big fluffy snow flakes adding to the inch or so of snow already on the ground. Gilbert and I were sad to leave her.  Now we can’t wait till we get back together again.  

Thank you Jesus for this birthday and such a lovely hotel as the Bellwether. 

 

 

 

 

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Alright ,I am happy older

Normally I’m searching for an excuse to be negative.  Dr. Paul O said he could find a problem with a blank wall and if you didn’t see the problem it was an even bigger problem.  Dr. Philip Ney, the brilliant pro life psychiatrist and blue water sailor said, “There’s only one choice a man makes when he gets older, whether to be a bitter old man or not.  Bitter old men are common as weeds.”
Well, I’m happy.  Thank you for all the birthday wishes. Dr. Gary Horvath and the DocSide crew gave me a cake yesterday because I was wasn’t going to be there today.  It really was sweet and I am very glad they didn’t sing Happy Birthday.  It’s all kind of embarrassing when you get older.  My sister in law Adell and the nephews Alan, Andrew and Graeme called me saying they had bought  two tickets to the U2 concert coming to Vancouver.  “Take binoculars,” Adell said , “The best seats sold out fast."
I have been more than annoyed by the Facebook politics but today it really was wonderful.  All the birthday wishes from all over Canada, even Alaska, Australian and Saipan.  I really like that we ‘check’ in and take count. I felt like I was on this life boat earth doing this lifetime and everyone was calling out names like we did in Kindergarten on trips.  The trips back then were only down the hall to the washroom.  Now we travel the globe and some people are actually getting to be the first tourists on the next moon shot.  If I live long enough maybe it will be me or someone I know.  I have to admit there’s been many a time when I’ve been dealing the Borg bureaucracy I’ve wanted to say “Beam me up, Scotty.”
Earlier this week I had ‘sole food’ at  Chez Michel’s with my good friend George before attending a meeting of good cheer.  Misery loves company and were it not for the willingness of all those who come together to share experience, strength and  hope I’d not be as hopeful today.  Whenever  I wear the purple scarf Anna knit for me I remember with joy her and Kevin and the God kids, little Bea, Alex and Izack.
Looking back I can’t imagine how blessed I’ve been. The adventures have been incredible and this thing called medicine is something precious. I have also been spoiled by the incredible brains and beauty of the women I have known even the ones who’ve long forgotten me and those who said they hated me.  Maybe the latter were the most passionate.  It’s all more and more a blur with the resentments falling alway like leaves and more and more the past simply populated by a truly remarkable cast of extraordinarily gifted characters.  I’ve even been privileged like Sherlock Holmes to have enemies the likes of Moriarty.  Perhaps more sordid but certainly as villanous.
Now Laura and I have driven down to Bellingham in the new white Ford truck,  gift to myself, with the greatest little dog Gilbert. It’s been a truly great day.   Really, a blessed day.  I’m thankful to be alive  and feeling rather guilty because  there were times when was younger I would have welcomed death. I love the expression “Don’t stop till the miracle happens”.  In the 60’s we just said , “Keep on trucking” and now I guess that’s what I’m doing.
Here I am.  I  really am happy to have another day above the grass.  Only the good die young.  I know the very best have gone that I’ve known and I survive if only for a little darkness I carry inside. I worry about becoming too saintly.  The history of Christian saints especially most of Jesus’ closest apostles isn’t inviting to the cowardly.
Dr. Willi Gutowski, the great Christian psychiatrist , was quite famous for saying, “ Jesus said, “Do not be afraid!  It wasn’t a suggestion.   It was a command.”   Willie and Anita, intrepid missionary doctor and nurse.  are the two of the happiest of couples today.  I also look forward to seeing Sam soon as he’s a mensch if ever there was one. I have been  blessed by so many chicken or lamb dinners, rich in conversation, with John and his fine sons.  There really is so much to look forward too wealthy in friendship as I have been.
Now I have this uptown problem. I have to order room service before the Hotel Bellweather Restaurant closes.  There’s a steak with my name on it.   I’m also  going to have to choose a movie we can watch while Laura and I eat and Gilbert begs and gets treats.  What a rough life this is:)
Thank you all for all the wonderful birthday wishes.  Thank you God for all your blessings.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll be grumpy again but today I will celebrate with praise and thanksgiving.  IMG 4385IMG 4384IMG 4327IMG 4396IMG 4397IMG 4398IMG 4400IMG 4399IMG 4403IMG 4404

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Morning in Burnaby

I woke at 7 am and woke up Gilbert who was fast asleep at the bottom of the bed.  He stretched, got up and took an interest in what I was doing after I’d come out of the washroom.  I decided then to take him for a walk.  Early morning. Sunny blue sky day. We walked over to the river where he can be off leash in the wilderness part. it was nice there. Quiet stream. Meditative.  Warm.

I walked up the other way along the side of the RV park to the railway tracks. I’d hope to find a passage through the woods into the park but there wasn’t one.  So we headed along the railway track. I was concerned. There are a lot more trains passing than previous years so I hurried along. I’d twisted my ankle a bit come down a hill so winced a bit, not that bad, more a nuisance.  I ran the last little bit to get off the tracks then we walked along the road back to the park.  

Billy , the welsh corny was out walking his master with the GMC diesel truck. We let the two dogs play. That’s the big event in the dogs life.  Sniffing each other’s butts and genitals.  After a while that gets boring. I’d discussed my truck choices with their northerner and gone with gas.  He’s got a diesel GMC he’s fond of.  

Back in the trailer I gave Gilbert his glaucoma eye drops which he doesn’t like. Then made coffee.  I called Tom to tell him I was up. I’d read the mail and read Facebook and ready to get the day rolling. He’d offered to help take a couch to Laura’s.  

I actually got the medical legal report I had to do done and even completed a card for Business Now to make up as well as applied for Internet fax service.  

Laura and I have been texting as we do. We’ve been following our friend Barb’s trip in New York City, ourselves just being there at Christmas.  Gilbert has been watching at the window excited by people and trailers coming to go. I think he’s waiting for Tom. He really does know a whole lot more than he gets credit for.  At the City Hall he knows we are going to Laura’s and begins barking. When Tom comes he’s beside himself.  His favourite people. He likes Dave and his dog Emory too.  Then there’s all his friends at work.  He really shows his joy.

I’ve a light to fix. I took out the old ceiling light then replaced the new only to find that I needed to fix the connector as now I had 2 ceiling lights not working and the one that had not been working is the only one working.

I’d expected Tom to arrive an hour or so ago because I’ve been planning on brunch at the White Spot. Now it’s past noon and I’m thinking about a burger.

I’ve Victor’s moose in the fridge to barbecue.

I was looking through old photos. A bit of nostalgia. Missing my brother and parents because I’d like to know who some of the folks are.  I was looking to see if Dad’s old truck was a Ford.  Grand dad had a Dodge on the farm, big mean old farm truck.  But I think Dad’s pick up was a Ford. His autos were always American motors because he knew how to fix them and had the tools for them, 

I’ve lost track of my music I’ve purchased. The new truck plays off my iPhone but I’d downloaded the music to make room and now have just bought a couple of new albums and will find the hard drive I have the other tunes on. I can see I have purchased them on iTunes but I can’t get them off the cloud or they just may be on a back up or hard drive.  Anyway feeling nostalgic I downloaded the 1967 68 albums I so loved Paul Simon and Gordon Lightfoot and the Beatles.  I’ve got Third Days latest too.Tunes in the truck.

I’m enjoying my leather chair I had at the office which I’ve brought here.  It really is comfortable, no wonder I liked doing therapy across from the couch.  I saw my last patients there last week.  Now I’m seeing patients at three clinics and closing the office completely eventually.  Angel is staying on for a couple of weeks to work a couple of days a week to tie up lose knots.  My patients have transferred. Angel was to send the letters out and has contacted patients.  It all arose when we learned mid December that the landlady didn’t have zoning for the office to be used as a medical office and was told by the city that my office couldn’t be used for a medical office.  I was booked off for Christmas, pretty run down after working through the grief of my brother’s passing and wanting desperately to have a distracting vacation. For a year now a fellow has been threatening my life and nothing has been done about it.  I have had so many threats and had to realize I’m on my own. All the dues and taxes we pay amount to nothing in the actual emergency. Other than lawyers I’ve felt unsupported. More and more people I know and see are being bullied and beaten down by the corruption and inhumanity in the system. The fentanyl epidemic is getting my patients too.

Oh well, it will all work out

Tom just arrived.  Time for another coffee